Monday, April 10, 2017

Sibling Love Hate

In honor of National Siblings Day, I wanted to share something that happened in our house last week between Noah and Natalie. Whether you have more than one child or grew up with siblings - you know where there is great love there are also moments of great frustration. My kids are no different...except that as Noah gets older, it has become more apparent that he will require a guardian and once Steve and I are no longer living or able to continue in that role for him -- Natalie will most likely take over.

This may seem silly to some...it's so many years from now. Why am I even worried about it?
But, I do.
I worry when he is repeating a phrase or random word and won't or can't seem to stop.
I worry when he asks the same question over and over because he wants a different response.
I worry when he has a tantrum over something completely innocuous as running out of sliced bread.
I worry because sometimes...not often, even Natalie has had enough.

Honestly, she is usually the one who can calm him best, but sometimes we all just have to ride it out.
I worry that the responsibility is too big and unfair and...

Last week Natalie got upset with him. She had been making flyers for a dog walking business. Since she can't own a dog (b/c I have terrible allergies) she thought she would borrow one and intended to give the money she earned to an animal shelter.  Noah saw her flyers and said, "In my opinion, your flyers are stupid."
Of course Natalie didn't take too kindly to this. Noah couldn't understand why. He kept saying, "But I said 'in my opinion."
Sigh.
This is the tough part about Autism - taking a concept and then applying it to all situations. For example, hearing someone say, "chocolate ice cream is terrible, but vanilla is delicious. Noah would become defensive because he loves chocolate ice cream. He loves chocolate -- period. I would respond to him, it's okay to like different things. It doesn't mean chocolate is bad. It just means that in her opinion vanilla is better than chocolate. So, he then went on to apply the "in my opinion" idea to everything...even if it was hurtful. He assumed that by adding it -- made it okay.

When Noah put down Natalie's flyers - initially she got mad, but then rather than playing the "who's on first" game with him -- she decided to put her frustration to paper.

She wrote a story.

Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Noah. He farted a lot. He farted when he was sleeping, playing with his sister, and when he was eating too. One day, Noah saw a man in a bright-red tie. “Hello, young man. How would you like to be on Juggling with the Stars?” he asked. Noah’s mouth dropped open. “Oh, yes!” Suddenly, a fart that’s smell could kill and a sound that could make someone deaf erupted from Noah’s bottom. The man with the bright-red tie held his nose. “Oh my, child! You are much too gassy to be on our show!” And he stormed off. Now Noah was very sad. He had a wonderful talent for juggling, but now his chance for fame was ruined. Noah slumped and headed home. He spotted a lady with frizzy hair. “Hello, young man!” She said. “How would you like to be on I Think I Can Square Dance?” “Oh yes!” Suddenly, a fart that’s smell could kill and sound that could make someone deaf exploded from Noah’s bottom. The lady with the frizzy hair turned green. “Disgusting! You are much too stinky to be on our show!” And she stormed off. Noah was feeling pretty bad now. He was an excellent square dancer, and now he couldn’t show off his skills. Noah was very upset. He slowly walked home, kicking rocks in his path. Suddenly, a man with a huge afro ran over to Noah. “Hello, young man! How…” He started. “Oh, no. You don’t want me on your show. I’m much too stinky and gassy.” Noah interrupted. “Perfect!” said the man with the huge afro. Noah stared at the man. “Really?” He asked. “Really! My show isn’t like other shows. It’s called So You Think You Can Fart.” The man with the huge afro said. Suddenly, Noah recognized the man. “Are you Toot Tooter?” He asked. The man with the huge afro laughed. “Yep! Call me Toot.” Noah was overjoyed. Finally, someone to appreciate his talent for farting! Right away, Toot and Noah became friends and Noah won the trophy for Stinkiest, Gassiest, and Most Talented farts. The End.

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